Composting is not hard; but it can be a challenge (and create a worthless stinky mess) to those who have not done their research or who do not know that there are some things that do – and others that do not – go into a compost pile. Fortunately, Connecticut has resources – public and private – that can help those who want to recycle kitchen and yard waste into fertilizer for home or public use.
Do It Yourself Composting – With Professional Advice
Composting is a little messy but not hard, especially with a little instruction from professionals. Zimmerman Construction and Roofing in Ledyard offers just such help. It has an online video on making a do-it-yourself compost tumbler and will answer questions sent over by email to the site.
Composting On Your Own
For those plucky souls who want to start composting right away, some towns (notably Trumbull, for example, which in 2012 offered “Garden Gourmet Compost Bins” and “Green Cone Digesters” for $30 and $50 respectively) sell or have sold compost bins to residents – and at reduced prices. Residents should contact their respective town hall for information about if or when the next such compost offering will be made.
For people too eager to wait for their town to offer a deal on compost equipment, it can be purchased online or in most hardware or garden supply stores or big box stores that cater to the home handyman. For those who want to use compost for their lawns and gardens but do not want to wait for the year or years it takes to produce enough on their own, there are companies that sell compost. One such is Grillo Services of Milford.
1183 Oronoque St.
Milford, CT 06460
Helpful Guidance From The Department Of Energy And Environmental Protection
Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) offers a great deal of free advice and guidance on how to set up, start and continue composting. There are brochures, fact sheets and even videos on what to do and what not to do to build a successful compost operation at home. There is also advice about what to do with that compost once it is ready and where to get more from other sources in the state.
The state agency’s website has links to these and more helpful aides, and points to studies that can answer questions about food scrap recycling on both the small home and larger restaurant/store/town scale. Schools that want to get students involved in composting can also find the basic startup information on the agency website.
79 Elm St.
Hartford, CT 06106
Compost: Not All Waste Is Created Equal, Neither Are All Compost Operations
Few people have home compost set-ups big enough to handle the autumn leaves they rake off their property or the clippings from their weekly mowing. Fortunately, most of the towns and cities in Connecticut have such large-scale operations which are designed for such excess waste. The compost from these piles is used mostly in public areas: town greens, ball parks, school grounds and the like.
Grass clippings, leaves and food waste can all go into a compost pile, but not all compost piles are the same. In addition to helping set up home compost piles, many towns have large compost operations of their own – places where people, stores and companies can bring their compostable waste. Many towns from Ansonia to Woodbury have what are called “Active Leaf Composting Facilities” which, as the name indicates, describes what goes into the pile. Most such operations are run by the municipality, although some of the smaller towns, such as Bloomfield, have farmed this out to a private organization, while others, notably Easton, have turned to local farmers to do it for the town.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has posted a list, complete with phone numbers and names to contact, for every such town with public, private or farm compost operation.
To see one such place in operation, go to New Milford Farms, which proudly and rightly boasts of being “the first state-permitted composting facility in Connecticut.”
New Milford Farms
60 Boardman Road
New Milford, CT 06776
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Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience. His work can be found at Examiner.com.